ALIENWARE Challenge Entry: Russell Thomas


Russell Thomas has entered the ALIENWARE Challenge.


This is not a joke image, I have decided to force myself to get use to my pen tablet and as you can see I am terrible with it, this is a schematic idea which I am modeling now. I heard about the concept just the other day and am scrambling to put something together.


This is my initial model of the surrounding structures. I plan some type of circuitry type texture. Crystall spires or spikes will go next into the background. In the plaza will be a plat form with a circuitry sphere levitating around it with orbiting rings. Now to get busy.


Progress Model of scene, basic components in place. Next step Texturing.


Well it has been a long day and this is what I have so far. I also forgot to mention I am creating this entry in trueSpace 6.6

Modified structure locations to make them more random and not look as much as a block model of a typical city. Also modeled Crystal Spires and added platform with suspended orb with orbiting rings.


Using shaders for the majority of the materials. I have a Darktree Simbiont shader for the platform body and tweaked another for the circuitry type structures. Shader Magic was used/tweaked to texture the orbiting rings to be a grainy transparent material.


Played around and decided against image based lighting so that stark comparison showed on textured object. This allowed me to more easily give strong shadow and control the feel of the scene. The scene calls for tension and qualities of the unknown according to the contest parameters. I am playing on dusk a little, the end of a day and maybe an end to a civilization.

Of course looking at it, I may need a tad more light to make everything more clear in the final model.


Accidental Double post!


Wow, TruSpace has certainly improved! I remember testing out a demo of version 3, and being quite disappointed with the render quality. Anyway, I like what you’re doing with the Dark Tree textures and your lighting setup; should be interesting to see whether the starfield and other elements gives the scene more of a sense of scale, since right now it feels a bit small – like peeking into a warehouse. I have no sense that the “circuitry buildings” are actually the size of buildings (probably because we associate circuitry with a smaller scale).

Good luck with your scene!


Scene layout fully textured and lighted. Modifyed the view in the effort to be more forboding. Added energy hoses because the plain floor was a little lacking in visual appeal. Undecided about hoses at this point. In addition, used PyroCLuster to add ghostly steam clouds. After I have slept on it, I will decide what to do for post production, if I think it is ready.


Thanks Nuclearman,

Hopefully my final view angle and the closing in composition will make the scene “feel” larger. It was a difficult decision of how to view the scene, farther back showing the circuitry structures going on for a distance lost all the detail on the central peice. Also, a low view looking up makes it more intimidating, I hope.

Thanks for the input!


After sleeping on it I decided that the power hoses look out of place, but I do like the color in the scene. I am going to make pool of black shiny tar like substance around the central platform and add Power tubes comming out of the central lower sphere. Hopefully the color will work well and more sense of grandness will develope. :smiley:


Well I tried doing the power tubes and the pool around the central platform. I am not sure about the tubes. I will run them through a structure and view from a different angle to decrease their span, but I am thinking they may need to go, they just don’t feel right.


Looked at your composition now for a while, and made a few thoughts. I like your texturing and the composition. Hope there’s a few of my sugestions you could use…

Camera:The POV seems a bit strange, as the field of view is on big amount, the saturnlike planet looks a bit strange now up there cuz of the massive distortion, also the fog.
Composition: The whole composition looks a bit too centered now.
It also lacks a bit of foreground, an Idea would be to bring oune block on the left side to the front and let the cam look trough it/let run the powertube run trough it there, and move out of the FOV, so you could connect that way to the sky and give a sense of scale. I liked the round powertubes, cuz it added some cool dynamic to it, as now almost all shapes here are “straight” and static. you might also check out how the view looks, if you roll the cam a bit, might help the dynamic.
Dynamic: The Atomic rings round your sphere could come out great, if you’d mix up the brown with the blue and maybe add some visable energy on that objact like plasma, a forcfield or electicity, also cool would be if parts of them glow and have then (from rotation) some glowing motiontrial.
Try to bring in a bit more variation into your boxsizes, they seem a bit uniform now.
An idea could be to set the planet lower, to the horizon and blow it massively up in size (ca 1/3 of imagew. almost following the tips of the white lines), to have a round dynamic makin things more playfull for the eye.
Of course, this are just my eyes, tellin me this, but maybe there was one or two usable suggestions with this. Good luck and now, let’s rock!!! :buttrock:


This is a little better, don’t quite know what to think. The ground needs work now and my rendering quality is looking worse. Maybe I will have to sleep on it!


Thanks for the input, I have been hoping to recieve others thoughts but entered so late and now it is a rush job. I will play with the view some more and play with the texturing. The particles in trueSpace are a little weak so I am a little limited in what I can do in that catagory, but I will not blame the tool :wink:

My thoughts on the composition was to draw the eye to the center peice via clouding crystal and general compostition such as the planets ring pointing towards the center peice. I will give your advise some more thought and see what I can implement.


Most Welcome… Yep, time is my major problem too, as customers always give you rushjobs when you anyways have more than enough work, I did not have too much time at all to really bring into my alienworld what i wanted to. And had 4 big crashes.
Well, Best Luck, keep on rockin’ and don’t end up sleepless in seattle :wink:


Tried to implement some items suggested by forum members for improvement of composition. Probably rais liquid plain to increase liquid area. Geometry on planets ring is a little rough, may address that also. May need debris of some sort on ground so that it doesn’t look quite so sterile, but that may give it a stark apperance. Eliminated steam clouds at this point.


Looks heaps better already, Jus am not 100% sure if it really needs the planet, and i’d place it on the background, right 40% covered by the horizon. Also, spin it on z camview-axis, and give it less light, so just a segment will be visable of it, actually, it looks a bit like some kind ufo.
I’d also break up the platform a bit make connections smaller, thinner, to support the sense of scale and give the rest the illusion of being big…
:wip: :wavey: :thumbsup:


Thanks for the input. I made the liquid larger, decreased diameter of power rods and removed ring from planet and lowered it. I will have it rendering while I am at work and see what it looks like. In additition I think you thought the planet should be on the right, I will look into that also. Thanks again for your input. I love your project the arm structures curving back down into the structure give it some great dynamics.